2017 will see some key changes for businesses and some individuals and it’s important that those impacted put the necessary plans in place to overcome potential challenges and take advantage of any opportunities.
From April 2017 the National Living Wage will increase to £7.50 per hour for all working people aged 25 and over. This coupled with the requirement that all organisations must have enrolled their employees in a workplace pension by April 2017, is likely to place increasing pressure on the margins of small businesses, possibly impacting growth potential.
In 2017 we are likely to see individuals and businesses start to move towards using the new digital tax accounts – developed by HMRC in a bid to transform the tax system. Although it’s likely to cause a bit of a headache, it’s better that those affected take steps to get to grips with the new system sooner rather than later, allowing them to be fully up-to-speed with what’s required in 2018.
From April 2018 businesses will be required to send their tax information to HMRC at least quarterly to ensure information is fully up-to-date. For businesses, this also means being more aware of monies owed, allowing them to plan-ahead more effectively – certainly a positive in my eyes.
The weak pound has resulted in an increase in UK exports. This creates opportunities and possible growth for those businesses who have the potential for a high level of exports. It also provides an opportunity for those businesses who are considering exporting their products. If exporting is something that a company has been considering, 2017 is the time to do it.
From April 2017 tax relief changes on buy-to-let mortgage interest will be phased in, with it being cut to 20% in 2020. This increase tax for buy-to-let landlords is likely to significantly impact the rental market. We are likely to see an increase in landlords leaving the market, higher rental prices and a boom in the number of limited company landlords.
2017 will be an interesting year and those who plan-ahead and pro-actively take advantage of the opportunities, will undoubtedly fare better.